North Fork Trip

October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Where is the North Fork?

 map from nyt

Chef Rich (an instructor at school) announced that he would be hosting a field trip to the North Fork. I had no clue where the North Fork was, but I signed up for the opportunity to milk a goat.

My classmates and I went on a two-hour bus ride and arrived at our first stop- Garden of Eve.

  Before we started our tour, Chef Rich brought us some breakfast. We had some mini cupcakes, cookies and cider. Yum yum yum! 🙂

1st : Garden of Eve – Organic Farm & Market

 sunchoke, fennel, beets, broccoli and more!

 fresh picked (pulled?) carrots

2nd : Macari Vineyards

 we tasted 4 wines

3rd : Catapano Goat Farm

 This is the reason why I signed up for the trip- very anti-climatic. I guess I thought I would be getting my hands and knees dirty filling buckets and buckets with milk. That was not advertised, only in my head.

We had one quick squeeze disposed to the ground…no buckets. The milking was not what I expected, but their gift shop left me completely satisfied. They sold an array of lotions and surprised me with a deliciously flavored honey lavender chevre.

4th : Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

We tried 3 or 4 different brews and got this awesome glass. I love their logo! It’s the North Fork/a whale. 🙂

5th : Pipes Cove Oysters 

This was my favorite stop. Even though I didn’t have any oysters, meeting the wonderful owners and this view was worth it.

I’ve never seen such beautiful pebbles and stones on any shore. I’m definitely not in Los Angeles anymore.

Our field trip was from 8am to 8pm. It was the longest and most fulfilling field trip I’ve ever been on. I was surrounded by wonderful people and amazing food. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Saturdays.

Wish you were here! 🙂

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NYC Catering Events

October 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

view from Brooklyn Heights

Private Party (Oct. 7)

A few weeks ago I assisted Personal Chef Minna Suh cater a small party for 30-40 people. It was my first official paid job in my new career. It was amazing! She was extremely knowledgeable and boosted my confidence in being able to be successful in this field. Helping her helped prepare me for last week’s Self Magazine/Pretty City’s event for 175-200 people.

Menu for Minna Suh

Duck Spring Rolls (non-veg)

Sweet Corn Mini Madelines

Mushroom Parsnip Tarts

Lemon Curd Crepe Rolls with Candied Lemon Zest

Chocolate Cherry Truffles

Self Magazine/Pretty City Event (Oct. 12)

The night before the event several CTP (Chef’s Training Program) students assisted the chefs on all the prep work. I along with my fellow CTP schoolmate poured our hearts and souls into supremeing oranges and slicing + toasting whole wheat baguettes.

How To: Supreme an Orange

Some stats: ~18 oranges=~250 half slices & sliced and toasted 415 slices of bread

Menu for Self’s event

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad on Mini Papadum (non-veg)

Tempeh Meat Balls with Sweet and Spicy Tomato Chutney

Goat Cheese and Beet Crostini topped with Orange and Dill

The event was hosted at Marquee night club, which was a weird venue, but what made it weirder was where our booth was located. We were a bit hidden in the back of the club across from a nail polish stand. If it makes you feel any better it was “healthy” nail polish.

It was an extremely mixed crowd and we spent most of the night explaining what tempeh was and handing bite sized treats to girls trying to balance their half bitten cupcake without ruining their freshly polished nails. I’ll have to admit that I enjoyed prepping more than the event, but I’m glad I went.

I left with a swag bag and a bag full of crostinis. It was a good day. 🙂

 all the swag

American Cheese Month!

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

I saw this on the kitchn and had to repost. It’s American cheese month!

Why should you care?

If you live in the New York or Seattle, you have very good reason to. With a $10 donation for a cheese passport, you get 40% off your purchase of American cheeses every day this month. YUM!

List of Participating Retailers 

So what if you’re lactose intolerant?

According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), it seems that most ethnicities may be affected.

Lactose intolerance is a common condition that is more likely to occur in adulthood, with a higher incidence in older adults. Some ethnic and racial populations are more affected than others, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, and Asian Americans. The condition is least common among Americans of northern European descent.

However, in my experience, your body may be able to tolerate milks from different animals (goat, sheep, buffalo) and/or raw milk cheeses.

There is a surprisingly wide range to choose from. “At the 2011 Annual American Cheese Society Competition, over 1,600 American artisan cheeses were entered!” –American Cheese Education Foundation

If you love cheese or just curious, this is definitely the month to give it a try!

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Friday Night Dinner

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Every Friday night my school is transformed into a restaurant that serves a 3-course vegetarian meal at $40 per person and you’re allowed to B-as much of-YOB without a fee. As part of the final project, each person who enters the Chef’s Training Program (CTP) works with an instructor and fellow group members to develop a menu, prep and cook the food. The main group is assisted by students from other CTP classes.

This past Friday, I was among several other students who helped CTP 201 prep their meal.

Not only did they develop a beautiful menu, they transformed the classrooms with fresh flowers, candlelight and string lights, which gave guests a relaxed backyard feel indoors.

We started prepping Thursday night and finished on Friday. Even though I knew what we were serving, to be honest, I didn’t know what it would look like or how the flavors would come together. Would they even come together? I was nervous.

Later that night, I finally saw how they were plated and had my ah-ha moment when I tasted everything. It was delicious. Why did I even question it? Afterall, this was their final project. They definitely knew what they were doing.

 latkes with picked vegetables, homemade applesauce and almond cream

 brussels sprouts & arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette

 tempeh collard rolls, cauliflower puree, tomato sauce & some $$$ mushrooms

I regret two things from that night: (1) not taking more leftovers and (2) not taking a picture of the dessert.

If you’re ever in New York City, make sure you come to a Friday Night Dinner. You won’t regret it!

FYI: Mine will be on January 13, 2012. Hope to see you then!

Artisanal LA event

April 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last year marked the first year of the Artisanal LA event, which brings together local vendors from Los Angeles. It was there that I discovered my favorite chocolatier- chocovivo. Delicious! The absolute best chocolate I have ever had. I’m a fan of pure dark chocolate.
“We stone grind our chocolate using lava stones just how it was done over 2000 years ago.  It’s minimally processed to maintain the purity and nutritional value.  Our chocolate is made fresh every week. We don’t use any flavorings, extracts or additional cacao butter.  It is 100% whole bean chocolate using whole ingredients.” -chocovivo website


I’m so happy that I found chocovivo! Though the price is on the higher end at $6 for under 3 ounces, I’d rather eat chocolate more infrequently if I can have this chocolate.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go to the event this year. I will be in New York! I’m there for a week to check out my future culinary school- The Natural Gourmet Institute. This is where some of the best veg and vegan chefs trained. I will also be meeting Chef  Amanda Cohen, who graduated from there and is the chef/owner of Dirt Candy. The only veg chef ever to be invited on Iron Chef. Excited!

photo taken from gothamist

For those of you in town, the Artisanal LA event will be awesome! You should definitely go and check it out! $10 pre-sale and a million free samples when you’re there. Why wouldn’t you?!? Delicious! It’s like Costco, but better and without the lady asking you where your mom is and whether you’re allowed to eat what she’s serving. Or did that only happen to me when I was young? Or was that only at my Chinese dominated Costco. I guess I’ll never know.

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